Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Throwing Stones at Aspies

"When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  John 8:7

NT wives complain, rant, and rave with numerous "aspie attacks" on internet forums. It is actually quite frightening to read what some women will say (to the world!) about their husbands. These women obviously don't recognize the sin in their own hearts. They (and we) are all hypocrites.

John Calvin in his commentary on John 8:7 says "by this word he only reproves hypocrites, who mildly flatter themselves and their vices, but are excessively severe, and even act the part of felons, in censuring others. No man shall be prevented by his own sins from correcting the sins of others, and even from punishing them, when it may be found necessary, provided that both in himself and in others he hate what ought to be condemned; and in addition to all this, every man ought to begin by interrogating his own conscience, and by acting both as witness and judge against himself, before he come to others. In this manner shall we, without hating men, make war with sins."

So without hating the aspie, and all the while hating the sin in our own hearts, one can ask "What are the particular sins common to Asperger's Syndrome?" One counseling lecture entitled "How To Counsel an Adult with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome" explored how the aspie is often very selfish.  Not considering others' perspectives and feelings is certainly self-centered and selfish. The aspie may have no comprehension that he is being selfish and likely has no intention of being selfish. And this makes change seem impossible.  But his not acknowledging his sin, especially once it is explained to him, is evidence of sinful pride. He is too proud to show humility by acknowledging (though others expressly point it out to him) that he is at fault. Is he to blame for this? No, not to blame (because he is wired this way), but he is still responsible. Because we are all required by God to be perfect, as Christ is perfect, even though it is impossible to ever reach perfection before Christ returns.

Huh? Exactly. It is a mystery, and I cannot explain it. Biblical counselors and theologians can help make it more clear than I can. But what little I can grasp is a comfort during the times I am scratching my head at the wonder of the autistic brain. It helps me to recognize what I can and do what I can to deal with the difficulties.   In a nutshell . . . .

1. My aspie spouse is selfish and self-centered in not thinking of others or understanding their feelings and perspectives. The fact that he does not see this about himself exhibits a great deal of pride. He should accept this to be true, even without understanding it, and should work on doing all that he can to change his sinful behaviours.

2. My responses to him are, at their root, selfish, self-centered, and a result of pride (thinking I deserve better or that I am better). It is hypocritical to "throw stones" at him when I have the exact same weaknesses (which may simply be displayed differently).

And so daily we should forgive, pray, forbear, and love. Humbling ourselves and looking at our own hearts, we should strive to overcome our faults and grow through the trials of living with and loving difficult people.  Because we are all, every one of us, difficult people to live with.

"When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  John 8:7


  1. Thank-you for the inspiration. Your writings help me stay on the path of understanding and forgiveness for those things about my Aspie that I have a hard time dealing with.

  2. Thank you for commenting. I'm sending up prayers for you today, JC. This life is hard!

  3. This is soooooo, so very true. Thank you. -MS

  4. Hello,
    Glad you are back!! Thank you for sharing, struggling and focussing us on Christ. One of my greastest comforts was when I heard the Lord say - in my head - Am I not big enough to heal your wounds? Praise the Lord that He takes care of us!!!